TechComm Today
Nov. 21, 2012

STC's Special Rate for Classic Membership Ends 31 December
There's only a little over a month left to get the best rate for STC's Classic membership! If you join or renew by 31 December, you get the discounted rate of $195 for a Classic membership; add a Chapter and SIG, and that's only $230. We're constantly increasing the value of membership as well. Just in the last couple months we've introduced the Member Affinity Program, released recorded webinars for sale, and offered free, sponsored live Web seminars to members. Invest in your future; build your career. Join or renew today!More

Customer experience meets classical system development
CMS Wire
Beginning with Web 2.0 in 1999, the Web refocused Internet-based systems from designers and managers to users and consumers. Users began to demand systems that function as they wanted, and were willing to retaliate when things didn't go as they expected. This changed the way system developers had to approach their design and development efforts.More

Announcing the STC 2013 Slate of Candidates
The Nominating Committee has released the slate of candidates for the 2013 STC election. All STC members who join or renew by 28 February 2013 will be eligible to vote. The slate includes Nicky Bleiel automatically succeeding to President; Kit Brown-Hoekstra and Paul Mueller running for Vice President; Jane Wilson and Brian Lindgren running for Treasurer; Deanne Levander, Michael Opsteegh, and Ben Woelk running for two Director positions; and Phylise Banner and Andrea Wenger running for two Nominating Committee positions. Please watch the STC website after 2 January 2013 for detailed information about the candidates and to access a question-and-answer area that you can use to ask questions of the candidates.More

Econsultancy lists Web flaws to banish
Chris Lake, director of product development at Econsultancy, has created a list of 20 design- and UX-oriented aspects of Web design and development that he believes should be banished in 2013. His ire appeared primarily directed at usability issues, including commerce sites lacking search, scrolling issues, links appearing in new windows, and problems with form labeling and validation.More

Join STC and The Content Wrangler for a Content Strategy Virtual Conference
STC introduces its latest virtual conference, Technical Communication Content Strategy in the Mobile Device Age, cosponsored by The Content Wrangler and featuring many of the top names in the field. This unique, three-day, online event will include presentations on all aspects of technical communication and content strategy, and is hosted and moderated by Scott Abel of The Content Wrangler. The virtual conference takes place over three days, 4-6 December, from 1:00-3:15 PM EST (GMT-5) each day. The conference includes seven sessions plus daily introduction and summary by Abel, with presenters such as Ann Rockley (the mother of content strategy), Sarah O'Keefe, Rahel Bailie, Joshua Tallent, and more. Click "MORE" for full details and to register.More

Firefox OS Simulator now available as a prototype
Firefox OS is launching early next year, and Mozilla needs to make sure that developers have some apps ready before its launch. It's a little early to get hardware into the hands of developers though. That's where software solutions come in, and Mozilla had just the thing. Mozilla announced that the Firefox OS Simulator prototype is now available for download. It was introduced in an early form as a Firefox Add-On in October, but now the Boot2Gecko team is hard at work pushing the simulator towards a version 1.0 release.More

STC Introduces a New Certificate Course in January
STC is introducing a brand-new certificate course in January, and is bringing back one of our most popular courses as well! Members have asked us for more in the area of usability, so we're pleased to offer Usability Testing Essentials: Hands-on Workshop and Best Practices, presented by Carol Barnum every Tuesday from 8 January through 26 February, from 10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5). Also on tap is the popular TechComm Manager, presented by Saul Carliner, every Thursday from 10 January through 14 February, also 10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5). If you're looking to step up into a management role, this course is for you! And don't forget to check out STC's schedule of live Web seminars in December, too!More

The power of visual design in a content marketing strategy
Business 2 Community
We've all heard people claiming over and over again how content marketing will save your brand, propel it far above the rest and happily greet each and every curious reader it effortlessly attracts to your blog. What more do you need than really good content? But how visual is the content you're creating? Does your blog consist of text-only content with few visual pieces weaved into the sidebars? If so, you might not be engaging your readers as well as you think.More

Looking for a visual feast in the tablet experience
Marketing Week
Consumers' use of tablet computers is growing so fast that in four years it will account for almost as much Internet use as all mobile devices do now, according to research from Cisco. In the face of this accelerating uptake, brands cannot afford to be without a specific strategy to ensure their websites and apps work effectively on tablet devices.More

The pros and cons of responsive design
As mobile becomes an increasingly important aspect of nearly every company's long-term plan, there has been much debate over where responsive design should fit in that strategy. Organizations are always looking for ways to spend their resources more efficiently, and responsive design has helped reach that goal. Reaching all consumers and all their devices with one development cycle is a quick and easy way to "go mobile." However, once the consumer has gone to your business' website, how do you keep the format compelling?More

Why not say it simply? How about very simply?
There are people who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too. If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words. But suppose all you want to do is understand how something works.More

Adapting your site to different window sizes
Modern browsers like the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera support the width and height properties of the W3C Working Draft CSS Device Adaptation, which as of 1 November has evolved to an Editor's Draft. This gives Web developers a simple tool to control automatic content scaling across various window dimensions. In particular, it enables sites to easily adapt to browsing on touch-enabled tablet devices in the snapped view and in portrait orientation.More

5 top Web design tips to increase website traffic
Business 2 Community
Since performance and speed are important to SEO, Web design plays a crucial role in how well a website ranks in search results on Google and other search engines. As a result, great Web design can have a dramatic effect on your business and how you make money online. By implementing a few design improvements that leverage the latest Web technologies like CSS3, responsive Web design for mobile support, HTML5, and more, you can derive potentially large gains for very little effort.More

Testing times: Making sure your apps work
The art of testing is not about confirming things work; it's about making sure that nothing is broken. It's a subtle but important distinction. Arguably, testing is the most important part of the whole process of creating apps. Apps that offer a bad user experience can get a real kicking in reviews, which deters further downloads. If an app is badly designed, it deserves everything it gets. But it's heartbreaking when a great app is spoiled by slipshod quality control.More

Average page weight increases 30 percent in 2012
As we approach the end of 2012, the HTTP Archive Report, which collates technology statistics from 300,000 of the Web's most popular sites, presents some staggering news: Average page weight has bloated by 30 percent in one year to reach 1.25Mb.More